What to Expect When You Paint ONLY Your Middle Finger (#31writenow, #nablopomo)

by P. Braithwaite


Last Sunday, while bills sat on the table waiting to be paid, I sat on my couch lamenting over a horrible manicure. I’d gotten a cute pink manicure, but one nail looked dingy and cracked. There were air bubbles and they were driving me crazy, so I decided to paint that fingernail with glittery pink polish. Yep, just so happened to be my middle finger on my right hand.

As I added several coats of polish, I started to feel a sense of power. Every brush stroke made my middle finger more seductive. I had the desire to start flipping people off. As I waited for my lone nail to dry, I had the strongest feeling that I’d be giving the finger to someone over the course of the next few weeks. Typically, I’d refrain from these thoughts, but my own bravado mixed with nail polish fumes made for an intoxicating cocktail of madness. I fell in love with this idea of giving people the finger so I Instagramed it.


And tweeted about it.


And I also practiced flipping people off in the mirror (no picture. Sorry).

And then I went off to meet friends for dinner and forgot about the whole thing. Monday came, I sat down at my computer, and ran smack dab into an aggressive confrontation that left me shaking for hours. I paced back and forth, I wrote replies and deleted them, I held back tears…But in that moment I had to decide: do you want to use your middle finger or not?

I’m not really a middle finger kind of gal.

The truth is, when we entertain and invite anger and aggression into our lives, we get what we’re looking for. Whether we paint our middle finger glittery pink, or put on invisible armor and defense mechanisms we’re preparing for a fight we may not want or need. You know what the say, luck (both good and bad) favors the prepared…Hostility begets hostility; aggression begets aggression.

Whatever we’re searching for we find.

And so today, I recenter and re-polish my nails so my middle finger is no longer running the show. I don’t want anymore fighting. It’s not good for my heart, and I don’t want to even think about extending my middle finger anymore.

And so it is.